New Monarchies

By: Courtney Lombardo and Ryone Thompson


A concept developed by European historians during the first half of the 20th century to characterize 15th century European rulers who unified their respective nations creating stable and centralized government.

New Monarchs

These rulers consolidated power to themselves by reducing the power of the nobility and clergy as well as creating efficient bureaucracies. They did not, however, achieve absolutism.

Louis XL

First of the Valois kings that dealt ruthlessly with nobles, built a large army, increased taxes and heavily controlled the clergy. He did, however, actively promote economic growth by encouraging industries and immigration. Known as the "Spider King."

Francis I

Ruled from 1515 to 1547. Under his reign, the French Church's bishops were now appointed by the king. Another change made was a direct tax on all property.

Concordat of Bologna

By this decree, the king of France was given the power to appoint bishops to the Gallican Church. This was a major blow to papal influence, but was one reason why France remained Catholic.


Instituted by Francis I, this head tax was directly placed on all land and property, allowing the French to expand its budgets.

War of Roses

A war between the noble families of York and Lancaster for the throne. The House of York was victorious, giving rise to the Tudor dynasty.

Henry VII

The first Tudor king, he greatly reduced the influence of the nobility through numerous acts such as the abolition of private armies and the establishment of the Star Chamber.

Star Chamber

Secret trials without a jury or witness confrontation, and often involved torture. Created by Henry VII to reduce the influence of nobles.

Ferdinand of Aragon

King of Spain from 1478 to 1516. Highly Catholic, and was one of the patrons of Christopher Columbus. He initiated the Reconquis.

Isabella of Castille

Queen of Spain from 1474 to 1504, highly Catholic and one of Christopher Columbus' patrons. Her marriage to Ferdinand of Aragon unified Spain.

Essential Questions

1. When you think of the new monarchies, what are some of the first things that come into your head?

2. In what century did European rulers who unified their respective nations creating stable and centralized government?